My blog post was originally posted on Red Tricycle last year.
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! This day seems to stir up conflicting emotions for many people. I’ve always looked at the day as an excuse to bake treats and exchange meaningful words with friends and family.
I began thinking about why I don’t struggle with this day (and it’s not because I am married). It’s because my mom made it fun not at all about significant other’s. I wrote a blog post for Red Tricycle about Why You Should Celebrate Valentine’s Day with your Kids. My mother taught my brother’s and I life is too short to be cynical about a day where you have an extra reason to spread love around.
My mother loves Valentine’s Day. In the midwest, February is cold and gloomy with spring still several months away. Valentine’s Day happens at the exact moment when everyone needs a pick me-up in the form of a heart-shaped cookie.
As children, she helped my brother’s and I create Valentine’s Day boxes. We selected Valentines with our favorite characters on them at the store to give to friends and family. There was never any mention of Valentine’s Day being for a significant other. She never once demanded anything in return from my dad or us. She made it a fun day for the family.
In highschool, instead of pinning away for a boyfriend or writing the day off as a silly made-up “holiday”, I went out to dinner with girlfriends. I continued the precedent my mother set: Valentine’s Day is a fun way to express love to people important to us. I have control over how February 14 makes me feel because it’s never been about receiving anything. It’s been about expressing.
Many say we don’t need a specific “day” and we should celebrate love everyday, except do we really do that? Life is busy. Anniversaries and holidays are reminders to schedule dates and send cards. It doesn’t have to be contrived. You make the experience how you want it.
My mother taught me Valentine’s Day is about more than romantic love. She made the day about her love for us and in turn I learned to embrace this Hallmark holiday as a fun excuse to love on friends and family.
Phoenix and I spent time over the weekend sending his friends Valentine’s Day cards. He won’t remember the experience, but it was a special moment for me! Sadly, he has an ear infection so he will miss his first classroom party.
Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your kids?